Addiction is a medical sense, a syndrome ,a condition that is characterized by physiological, cognitive and behavioral phenomena in which the use of a substance, a class of substances or behaviors that a given person gives a higher priority to the displacement of other conduct that he or she previously thought was of great value.

In ICD-10 diagnosis of dependence syndrome should only be set if at least three of the following criteria are met:

  • Strong desire or sense of compulsion , to take the substance.
  • Problems in controlling the intake of the substance, in relation to start, stop, and the amount consumed.
  • Physiological withdrawal state that occur if the use of the substance has ceased or reduced, or shows with characteristic abstinence syndrome for that substance, or through use of the same or related substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tolerance Development , so that larger doses are needed to provide the same effect as before.
  • Growing indifference in relation to other pleasures and interests.
  • Increasing time spent obtaining the substance, to use it, or to get in shape after use.
  • Behavior and their use is continued even if the applicable obvious signs of adverse consequences.

Habit, control problem, abuse or addiction?


It is said often that we humans are creatures of habit. Throughout the day we will all have chains of behavior, which we repeat. Some habits are we happy, we get up at the same time, eat breakfast, or not eating, brushing teeth and so on. Other habits are we less happy, we like to call those bad habits.

Habits can be small and not for the annoyance to either ourselves or others, other bad habits could be hazardous, may contribute to unpleasantness in the short or the long term, someone will be hurt ourselves or our loved ones.

When we discover that our habits have negative consequences, most of us think about whether we should do something with them. In any case we change our habits, ending with them or adapt them so they will not be so problematic. A THERE times it can be difficult to change habits. This will often be the case if our habits also have something good or something exciting to offer. It can be difficult to decide to change your habits, it can be difficult to implement a decide, some people find it difficult to have sufficient faith that one will be able to make a change.

Control Problems

Someone decides once again to pull himself together and really do something drastic with their bad habits and experience as often to fall back into old patterns. Often this is about control issues. One can not control himself in certain situations, or when the temptations are too many or too large. Many experience this as if you sort of made up of two sides that will different things. A page that will have control and will do what we really know is “right” or “best”, and then another page that will give some “f …” and that will throw themselves into pleasure or power or whatever is trying to control. Some try to negotiate with themselves seeking compromises between what we know is right for the long term and what you want at the moment;

“I leave tomorrow …”
“I deserve some encouragement now …”
“I can just”

Such thoughts give a sort of permission to continue the habit.

Control problems may also turn out that way that one can not limit yourself when you’re at it. Such control problems are not uncommon in our interactions with alcohol. Some people experience such problems in front of a slot machine. A decides to drink, or play for a few cents and then experienced it after a relatively short time that control is weakened, or completely gone and it feels like it’s completely different forces that take over management than those who initially took the decision to play or drink.

When the control problem becomes a pattern that repeats itself frequently arises the danger that habit gets more and more extensive negative consequences. It initially was used for pleasure and enjoyment from developing into an abuse.


When a behavior pattern, a habit out of control and goes beyond the psychological, medical or social circumstances, this is called an abuse.

Examples of misuse of drugs can be;

  • A student who smokes a lot hash through the weekend and as a consequence are unable to concentrate enough on lectures early in the week. His performances are weaker than they would have been if he did not smoke dagga.
  • A man who every Wednesday and Thursday drinking so much that he drives drunk with both Thursday and Friday morning.
  • A woman who frequently drink alcohol even if your doctor has warned her against this because of a medical condition (eg, ulcers).
  • Probably no one would think about some of these people that they had a substance abuse problem.


Control Problems in isolated and rare events, is not necessarily a sign of trouble. With control if such problems recur frequently, something that happens so often that it is a real risk control problems each time, for example, drinking alcohol, this is a sign of addiction or that addiction is under development. When you also have persistent requests, or frequent attempts to quit or cut down on the use, without success, this is also a sign of a negative development. When a habit of taking an unusual amount of time, this is also a character. Someone who developed alcohol dependence will take time to obtain alcohol, to drink and to recover from the hangover. To go along significant portions of time, or days it has to do with alcohol. At the addiction that the abuse problem behavior goes beyond psychological, social or medical functions. In many cases, the person with addiction problems join with other activities, or functions as a result of these problems. Most people with addiction problems know that this goes beyond the important areas of life, but despite this certainty will continue to do this creates problems.

In some forms of addiction, the person will experience tolerance. That is, he or she need larger quantities or higher intensity to get the same benefits of the behavior as before. Some will experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit and will return to the problematic behavior to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

Of course, this pattern vary between individuals and between different types of habit, abuse, addiction. For one person it will also vary the number of such signs of addiction that of herself in various stages of life.